11 november is de dag

The Netherlands don’t celebrate Armistice on the 11th November. I guess because they were neutral during the First World War, so the date isn’t so relevant to them. (They do celebrate Liberation Day in May to celebrate the end of Nazi occupation.) Instead they celebrate St Martin, or Sint Maarten. Quite how the story of a Roman soldier giving half of his cloak to a beggar is relevant to the modern festivities though I am uncertain.

20171111_183014It is a fun occasion, a little like Halloween, with children going round all the neighbours getting sweets. Though instead of fancy dress the children have lampions, or little lights on sticks, and they sing songs at each house. These are generally homemade and get more complicated as the children get older! Starry girl was very proud of the lampion that she had made at pre-school, so I felt that we had to join in this year. We joined up with a couple of friends from school and went up and down their street singing and collecting sweets. A fun time was had by all and many sweets were collected.

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